MINUTES OF A meeting of the Environment and Services Committee



Date:                          Wednesday 4 July 2018

Time:                          9.00am


Council Chamber

Hawke's Bay Regional Council

159 Dalton Street



Present:                     T Belford - Chairman

P Bailey

P Beaven

N Kirton

M Mohi

F Wilson


In Attendance:          J Palmer – Chief Executive

L Lambert – Group Manager Regulations

I Maxwell – Group Manager Integrated Catchment Management

G Clode – Acting Group Manager Asset Management

A Roets  – Governance Administration Assistant



1.       Welcome/ Apologies/ Notices

The Chairman welcomed everyone to the meeting.



That the apologies for absence from Brian Gregory and Peter Paku and councillors Debbie Hewitt, Rick Barker, Rex Graham, and Alan Dick be accepted, with Mr Mike Mohi attending in Mr Gregory’s stead.




2.       Conflict of Interest Declarations

There were no conflict of interest declarations.


3.       Confirmation of Minutes of the Environment and Services Committee meeting held on 11 April 2018



Minutes of the Environment and Services Committee held on Wednesday, 11 April 2018, a copy having been circulated prior to the meeting, were taken as read and confirmed as a true and correct record.





Follow-ups from Previous Environment and Services Committee Meetings


·       Update on Mangapoike Landslide requested.

·       Draft memorandum of understanding between NKII and HBRC with a proposal from a consortium led by P Olsen on potential commercial forestry investment opportunities to be reported to the July Council meeting. The proposal from the consortium will guide what will be considered as commercial and non-commercial investment, will be peer reviewed and Council may also commission further research and advice.

·       Hawke’s Bay Farm Forestry Association is represented on the Advisory Group that Iain Maxwell is “pulling” together to investigate HBRC’s activity across the region.

·       Iain Maxwell and James Palmer have been engaging with Crown officials regularly around the Billion trees project. Iain has been commissioned to carry out a “stock take” of where regional councils are in terms of the implementation of the billion trees project.  Cabinet paper on the pipeline of activity to be released in October.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the report Follow-up Items from Previous Environment & Services Committee Meetings.





Call for Items of Business Not on the Agenda


There were no items raised.



Catchment Grants Policy


Iain Maxwell introduced Amanda Langley (ProjectsHaus) and outlined the background, highlighting:

·         in final stages to enable Council to start issuing grants using the resources available.

·        Policy designed for internal staff to administer the Erosion Control Scheme grant fund of $30million over the life of the current Long Term Plan

·        Policy intended to provide funding for projects in both the Strategic and Long Term Plans – to not only focus the spend on activities that will achieve erosion control outcomes, but will also provide the right signals to landowners within the region to drive uptake and demand.

·        Staff will monitor the activities and outcomes and regularly update this committee.

·        The policy will be formally adapted and refined annually as demand approaches or exceeds the supply of resources.

Amanda Langley outlined parts of the policy and its key components, highlighting:

·        $30m approved through the LTP for investment over the next 3 years.

·        HBRIC is leading the Commercial element while HBRC is establishing and delivering the Erosion Control Scheme

·        the strategy (key drivers and known barriers) that shape the policy - to drive early uptake and break inertia.

·        ICM teams will target areas of greatest priority to develop targeted erosion control plans with landowners – leveraging partnerships and strategic relationships to help drive demand.

·        Year 1 and 2 will be establishment and ramp up phase.



1.      That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Catchment Grants Policy” staff report, and requests that staff update the Committee on implementation of the scheme as a standing item at future meetings.

2.      The Environment and Services Committee recommends that Council:

2.1.      Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted Significance and Engagement Policy, and that Council can exercise its discretion and make decisions on this issue without conferring directly with the community and persons likely to be affected by or to have an interest in the decision.

2.2.      Adopts the Erosion Control Scheme Policy as proposed, for administration of the $30 million grant scheme adopted in the 2018 Long Term Plan.





Management of Council River Berm Land


Stephen Cave presented progress, highlighting:

·        review initiated in response to increasing public pressures primarily relating to cattle grazing the river berm and entering the waterways and expectations about levels of service and infrastructure provision.

·        Need consistent and coordinated approach to address inappropriate use like vandalism, vehicle access, and rubbish dumping

·        Focus on 5 key areas including 1. reducing cattle on berms and in waterways and 2. undesirable behaviours, 3. managing adverse effects of recreational activities, 4. reflecting and celebrating kaitiakitanga and 5. improving amenity and landscape values in key locations.

·        Identified 27 areas for actions and prioritises 9 of those for short term attention

·        makes 3 recommendations for:  1 establishment of a ranger position with specific skill sets to educate, advocate and enforce Council Policy and values; 2 that Council continues cattle grazing to manage vegetation growth until a viable, affordable tool; and 3 to develop a Concept Development Plan to find alternative berm maintenance technologies.

·        Consultation with tangata whenua and the wider community will consider viable alternatives once those have been identified.



1.      That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Management of Council River Berm Land” staff report.

2.      The Environment and Services Committee recommends that Council:

2.1.      Agrees that the decisions to be made are not significant under the criteria contained in Council’s adopted Significance and Engagement Policy, and that Council can exercise its discretion and make decisions on this issue without conferring directly with the community and persons likely to have an interest in the decision.

2.2.      Commits to considering provision in the next available Annual Plan and/or Long Term Plan round to fund a permanent ranger staff position to patrol HBRC open space areas and pathways.

2.3.      Agrees that cattle grazing of river berm continues as the primary berm maintenance tool to manage vegetation growth until such time as affordable and viable alternatives are confirmed, and on the proviso that every precaution is taken to prevent cattle entering waterways.

2.4.      Endorses developing the Ngaruroro Concept Development plan and pilot study area to identify, test and confirm affordable alternative berm maintenance technologies.





Zero Carbon Bill Consultation Document


Gavin Ide gave outlined the key features of the Zero Carbon Bill Consultation document, including the introduction explaining climate change and the Ministry’s planned consultation events, meetings and hui as well as the details of the process for developing, finalising and implementing the Zero Carbon Bill.  Discussions traversed:

·         Zero Carbon Bill to be introduced into Parliament later this year, with intention to pass the Zero Carbon Act by mid-2019.

·         Three options offered including a net zero carbon dioxide, net zero long-lived gasses and stabilised short-lived gasses, often called the “Two Baskets” approach as well as net zero emissions – all to be achieved by 2050 and based on a “net zero” future.

·         Government seeking comment on the process used to set the targets, and poses several questions about how NZ can meet its targets.

·         Submissions deadline is 19 July there is no Council or committee meeting before that so staff recommend a small number of councillors liaise with staff to develop a draft submission ahead of the HBRC Chairman approving the final submission to be lodged on Council’s behalf.

·        Staff are also liaising with sector representative organisations like LGNZ, SOLGM and senior regional council and unitary authority staff about what a sector position might look like.

The meeting adjourned at 10:43am and reconvened at 11.10am



1.      That the Environment and Services Committee:

1.1.      Receives and notes the “Zero Carbon Bill Consultation Document” staff report.

1.2.      Agrees to submit feedback on the Government’s proposals set out in the Zero Carbon Bill Consultation Document, and that due to submission deadlines, accepts the following nominated members liaising with senior staff in the further drafting and finalising of a submission to be signed by the Chairman on Council’s behalf and lodged by 19 July 2018.

1.2.1.   Cr Tom Belford

1.2.2.   Cr Rex Graham

1.2.3.   Cr Rick Barker

2.      The Environment and Services Committee recommends that Council receives and notes the submission on the “Zero Carbon Bill Consultation Document” as lodged.





Pandora Pond Update


Iain Maxwell provided an overview of the scientific background of the Pond, noting a broader public interest around the history and options to bring back a more formal discussion around the catchment.

James Palmer referenced his 6 July email to Napier City Council requesting a detailed work program (including budgets and timelines) around the stormwater and wastewater issues as they relate to the estuary, advising that a comprehensive report of what is being proposed will be provided to a future Committee meeting. Currently:

·        Resource consents for the stormwater network into the Estuary lodged and in their final phase of pre-consultation with stakeholders including tangata whenua

·        A Management Plan for the Thames Street discharge has been drafted and Anna Mandarasz-Smith will follow-up with NCC to determine whether the final Plan has been lodged with HBRC.

Anna Mandaraz-Smith presented the February 2018 recreational water quality results for Pandora Pond (Ahuriri Estuary) highlighting:

·        monthly sampling results did not determine the source of the exceedances in February - as reported to June Regional Planning Committee, possible elevated counts are influenced by rainfall and discharges from Thames/Tyne

·        Faecal source tracking is very expensive and not undertaken routinely, but only when problems are indicated.

·        HotSpot funding has helped to resolve issues and HBRC staff are working with NCC staff to determine if the source is in the Thames/Tyne catchment.

·        Staff propose a workshop with HBRC and NCC staff on water quality and movement throughout Ahuriri Estuary, including Pandora Pond.

·        a strategic view of connections between HBRC and NCC was requested – envisaged as included in the broader catchment plan and proposed that an invitation is extended to the Ahuriri Management Committee to report to E&S regularly on their activities.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Pandora Pond Update” staff report.






Tukituki Tranche 2 Groundwater


Liz Lambert provided an update on the status of the applications for Tranche 2 takes including the background.  Discussions traversed:

·      PC6 Board of Inquiry decision provided for this additional allocation and people are allowed to apply for resource consents to take it.

·      Eight groups applied for a combined total of 17.1 million m3/pa, of which 11.9 M is irrigation and 5.3M is for augmentation.

·      All applications required to demonstrate that any effects on the surface and groundwater resources are acceptable - HBRC’s science suggests that the allocation is not sustainable and the applications have been put “on hold” until further information is provided by the consent applicants.

·      Aqualinc engaged by the applicants to undertake modelling to quantify the stream depletion effects and subsequent need for augmentation – the model will be used to quantify the approximate stream depletion effects of the proposed takes and the subsequent surface water augmentation requirements, with investigations expected to be concluded in 2-3 months. HBRC will then better understand the effects and proceed through the consenting process, including a decision on public notification.

·      HBRC is obliged to process the applications whether they are fit for purpose or not.

·      HBRC option of a wider review of Plan Change 6 and amendments to the Tranche 2 provisions at that time although, as stated previously this is not currently a priority.



That the Environment and Services Committee receives and notes the “Tukituki Tranche 2 Groundwater” staff report.





Tukituki Plan Implementation Update


Liz Lambert tabled the Tukituki Plan Implementation Communications document and introduced Madeline Hall, Senior Catchment Advisor Implementation, presented a summary of the work done to date, levels of compliance with the first 2 regulatory deadlines recently passed and next steps for HBRC, highlighting:

·         As at 29 June 2018, 1190 FEMPs or low intensity forms required with 1007 plans completed and 183 non-compliant

·         Landowners who didn’t respond by 29 June deadline will face enforcement action

·         Next regulatory deadline is in May 2020, requiring landowners to exclude stock from waterways and to ensure Nitrogen Leaching rates are within their consented nitrogen allocation

·         HBRC accepts FEMPs from Landowners who have used accredited providers and will conduct an audit program to ensure that those are up to standard



Mike Mohi left the meeting at 12:00pm and the quorum was lost.

Due to the loss of quorum the Committee meeting lapsed at 12.00pm, with those present at the time being:                                 T Belford - Chairman

P Bailey

P Beaven

N Kirton

F Wilson



The quorum having been lost the meeting was declared closed at 12.00pm on Wednesday, 4 July 2018.

Despite the meeting having lapsed and closed, those present continued discussions as noted following.


Tukituki Plan Implementation Update


Discussions continued, traversing:

·         Managed Audits will be run for the next 2 years

·         A further reminder to be sent to landowners who have not yet completed FEMPs, after which Council will issue an abatement notice and if not adhered to, follow up with prosecution in the move to a more regulatory approach.

·        Two new roles (FEMP Coordinator and Principal Advisor) based in Napier created through LTP to assist with Policy Implementation.





Management Options to Protect Whitebait Species


Iain Maxwell advised that Council needs to be clear that the Department of Conservation and Fisheries Minister have obligations around Whitebait species, while HBRC’s obligations are related to whitebait habitat.

·      HBRC needs to be realistic in terms of their science efforts in protecting whitebait species, as fishery science is very expensive, long term and challenged by highly mobile species that traverse many environments

·      Existing budgets will be utilised for work to protect whitebait species

Dr Andy Hicks presented the whitebait related work being done and outlined options for mapping critical habitats and monitoring improvements in whitebait populations.  Discussions traversed:

·      A meeting with various external experts held 1 June, with the outcomes and recommendations outlined in the agenda item

·      Five native migratory Galaxias species, including Inanga, Koaro, Banded Kokopu, Giant Kokopu and Smelt.

·      HBRC role in influencing the strength of the whitebait population, considering critical factors like egg survival (spawning habitat quality), larval growth and survival (oceanic conditions), recruitment success (access to adult habitat) and egg production (quality of adult habitat).

·      Opportunity for improving habitat well accommodated in the LTP through enhancements to riparian areas, removing barriers to fish migration and overall health in ecosystems and including condition of spawning shoals in year 2.

·      Reconvening joint DoC-HBRC meetings in August 2018.

·      HBRC on track to enhance habitat for whitebait species and should result in whitebait increases, with affordable monitoring approaches proposed to track improvements



The meeting broke at 12.45pm and recommenced at 1.20pm


Enviroschools Update


Sally Chandler updated current activities and highlights, with discussions traversing:

·      Funding support sought from all TLAs in HB through 2018-28 LTP submissions

·      Teacher workshops held introducing the program to two new schools who had been on the waiting list and very keen to become Enviroschools

·      Workshop held for Eskdale School to help teachers understand the Enviroschools reflection process

·      If Council agrees, the proposal is to invite schools into the Council at the end of the year to present their achievements and possibly certificates for the children.

Kristin Price, Operations Manager for Toimata Foundation, outlined results from the recent nationwide census, the present the findings and what Enviroschools are, their programme and operations nationally, highlighting:

·      Over 1100 Enviroschools nationwide, with pathways from early childhood through to secondary and beyond.

·      Over 15,0000 students actively participating in the program and long-term relationships with over 80% of councils nationwide

·      All Enviroschools engage in a range of sustainability actions like Zero Waste, creative prospects in the landscape, energy, cultural and economic sustainability, biodiversity restoration and biosecurity.

·      Wide range of water conservation and water health actions are taking place.

·      20km of riparian planting and 5km of fencing along waterways.

·      Economic sustainability actions are taking place in 75% Enviroschools.

·      Influencing a wide range of sustainability outcomes like physical environment, social, cultural, economic and educational outcomes.

·      Marketing Communications team to build a marketing campaign to raise awareness and grow the enthusiasm around Enviroschools





Future Farming Initiative


Tom Skerman outlined the proposed next steps in progressing the Future Farming Initiative, highlighting:

·      This initiative has not been without controversy because it has historically been viewed by some farmers’ as a direction from HBRC on how to farm. However, farmers attitudes have changed over the last 6 years, with the farming community much more aware of the changes required and why.

·      Environmental regulation is potentially going to have a greater impact on farming than on the economic deregulation of the 80s, so there is a need to understand the alternative practises that are already being successfully carried out locally.

·      Proposed that an ad-hoc committee comprising the group managers of Strategic Planning and Integrated Catchment Management and two Councillors be given authority to appoint a 7-8 person Steering Committee with at least four farmers/growers with demonstrated commitment to the desired outcomes.

·      Tasks for Steering Committee will initially (first 6 months) be to establish the Terms of Reference, seek stakeholder co-funding and partnership opportunities as well as oversee the formal establishment of the appropriate entity (Trust) necessary to execute the activities through to the end of LTP year 3.

·      Steering Committee to regularly update the Committee on progress with its work plan

·      Suggested Crs Tom Belford and Fenton Wilson be nominated to the ad-hoc committee subject to further consultation and discussion with Council.





Biosecurity Operational Plans


Cambell Leckie presented the Operational plans, highlighting:

·         No significant changes in the Regional Pest Management Plan (RPMP) and Regional Phytosanitary Pest Management Strategy (RPPMS).

·         Staff believe current operational plans have proven effective and, with the exception of wide scale predator control, propose only minor changes

·         Stage 2 of Cape to City wide scale predator control completed and predator free HB project is currently being developed

·         RHDVK5 virus was introduced about 8 weeks ago and it is too early to determine its impacts

·         Request for a map showing RHDVK5 – virus release locations across NZ

·         effects of needle grass bigger than 4-5 years ago, and not a rapid loss of ground to Chilean needle grass.

·         National response on the Stink bug – run by Ministry of Primary Industries, with HBRC staff not directly involved but regularly updated by MPI

·         RPMP currently under review and will include predator control areas for feral cats.

·         suggestion that domestic cats be microchipped and included in predator control plans will be reviewed by the RPMP Hearings Committee.

·         Staff have been issued with kits to clean boots and gear to prevent the spread of the Microplasma Bovis virus and councillors wanting a kit to request of staff


Item 14 – Enviroschools Update was discussed immediately following item 11, after the lunch break.


Item 15 – Pandora Pond Update was considered immediately following item 8.



July 2018 Hot Spot/Freshwater Improvement Projects Update


Jose Beya presented on Council staff’s progress on the Marine Hotspots project, highlighting:

·         Lack of knowledge and understanding of the effects on the Hawke Bay marine ecology produced by past, present and future changes in sediment and nutrient loads – transport and fate.

·         Objective of the project is to develop an understanding of the effects on the sea bed ecology produced by sediment and nutrient loads into Hawke Bay

·        Current focus is implementing the HB Marine and Coastal Group Research Roadmap – having started bathymetry, sea bed mapping, sea bed sampling and satellite image analysis with Hotspot funding

Jolene Townshend thanked everyone involved in the workshops and planting days before updating the projects’ progress, with discussions covering:

·      With the $1m, staff achieved their goals and more

·      Staff noticed an increase awareness in communities, being asked where people can assist on their own land and on community projects

·      Lake Whakaki taking more engagement than anticipated – a hui last week provided clear direction to move forward.

·      proposed additions to FIF stage two applications have been approved by the Minister for the Environment, subject to Council securing required resource consents prior to project commencement.

·      expenses incurred before consents are granted are not eligible for reimbursement and will therefore not be part of the project cost – MfE funding is not guaranteed until a deed of funding has been signed by both parties

·      Extensive monitoring of results is carried out in the catchments

·      A video presentation on Hotspots achievements was presented and will be uploaded on HBRC’s web and Facebook pages.



Cr Fenton Wilson left the meeting at 3.00pm



July 2018 Operational Activities Update


Tutira Regional Park – Post Pine Forest Harvest Plan - harvest is imminent and Council agreed to a composite plan that included replanting with diversified forest including natives





Discussion of Items Not on the Agenda


There were no items raised.


Signed as a true and correct record.




DATE: ................................................                    CHAIRMAN: ...............................................